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Graduation Party Checklist

Graduating from high school and college are both huge milestone events in a person's life. Classes, homework, club meetings and final exams are all done. Now it's on to something more exciting - whether it's freshman year at college or a first job. This achievement calls for a celebration so we're giving you some tips and tricks to make sure your party is one for the books!

Theme: The theme should be simple to come up with. School colors and mascots are an easy way to go and are an excellent way to show some school spirit. Whether you choose the theme from your high school or the college you will be attending or have graduated from, it will surely be a colorful celebration. However, there are many other options to choose from. Since many graduations occur in May, an island theme will get students and parents ready for relaxation before a big move. If you're celebrating a December graduation, you can couple it with winter wonderland decorations. Since it's the graduate's party, make sure the theme fits with their personality!

Location: Choosing a location goes hand in hand with the decorations you will be putting up. The first factor that needs to be evaluated is the weather. Having a graduation party outside can make for fun in the sun and easy cleanup; however, there's always a chance for bad weather. Having a shelter nearby as a second option in case it storms is an ideal situation. Other options (that take into consideration size of your guest list) include your own home or backyard, a restaurant or banquet hall. Directions to out-of-town guests should also be given out to make for an easy trip to the party.

Food: Most graduation celebrations are casual and the food often follows suit. Unless you are planning on having a sit-down dinner, make sure the food can easily be placed on paper plates and carried around the room while socializing. Popular dishes include pasta salad, potato salad, finger sandwiches, cookies, chicken fingers, mini veggies and chips and dip. This food is light and easy to eat. It doesn't matter if you prepare it yourself or call on a caterer for help. Everything should go smoothly as long as you give yourself or the supplier advance notice. Cakes are often common at graduation parties and fill the need for a dessert. Double check with the bakery and make sure they have all the correct information before picking it up.

Presents: Many times people like to give graduation presents in the form of a physical gift or money. If the graduate would prefer not to receive gifts, make note of it on the invitation. Otherwise, make sure there is plenty of space for gifts to be placed. The graduate can open the gifts at a later time since their main focus will be enjoying the party. However, when the graduate begins to open presents, make sure they know to make note of who has given them what, and write a thank you note to each giver.

Graduations are an exciting time for the graduate as well as family and friends. Celebrate these achievements with a party in the graduate's honor.